Lessons From Peter's Denial
Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You also are not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” Peter again denied it, and at once a rooster crowed. — John 18:25-27
We should note that John, who wrote this book, intentionally points out the difference between Peter and Jesus. He has contrasted Peter's declaration, "I am not," with Jesus's declaration, "I am he." He now points out the contrast between Peter's rejection of his association and identity and Jesus's acceptance of his association and identity. Thus, one man, Peter, rejects his integrity, and the other, Jesus, upholds it.
But as easy as it is to point out Peter's trifold denial and lack of integrity, Peter is a caricature of us. At some point, every man has made spiritual promises and commitments that he has failed to uphold. Every man has been publically silent when allowed to proclaim his faith. Every man has compromised his spiritual values and given way to fear over living out his faith. So, we'll need to be careful about pointing a finger at Peter because we are all this man. We have all compromised our integrity at some point.
In light of this, there are steps we can take to strengthen and prepare our integrity for these moments:
- Reflect. Look back on those moments you have compromised your integrity. Try to understand "why" you acted that way.
- Talk it out. Share a spiritual compromise with a trusted friend or someone in the believing community and work it out with them.
- Find a fighter verse. Find Bible verses that help strengthen your faith and identity when you're tempted to compromise.
- Stand up. Start by standing up for your beliefs and convictions in small ways. As you gain confidence, you can become bolder in expressing your faith in public.
Try it. Stop compromising your integrity. And don't be a Peter.
Have there been moments when you compromised your integrity or denied your faith? Take some time to think about these instances and consider what motivated those actions.
What steps can you take to strengthen your integrity and better prepare yourself for moments of spiritual challenge and compromise? Consider applying the practical suggestions mentioned in the devotional to your life.
DO THIS: Stop compromising your integrity.
PRAY THIS: Lord, grant me the wisdom to recognize my weakness and the strength to uphold my faith with integrity. Help me grow closer to You, learn from my mistakes, and become a better disciple daily. Amen.
PLAY THIS: Honesty.
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